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Archive for January, 2006

Dancing in the dark.

At Mavericks, good dancing, old fashioned decor, Cape Town was having one of its all too frequent power cuts, but I had a few hours for sketching.

Inside everybody was looking rather bored. Bored, and sulky, and pouty. It was dark and gloomy, and, with the air-conditioning gone, hot. The bar was operating with cash. Waitresses distributed some feeble little candles, which gave hardly any light, but I was entranced. The soft glow on languid female form, the few men little more than props, the furniture creating a dark nightscape. Daylight filtered through darkly patterned windows.

A group of men asked one of the women to do a table dance. With no music, no lights, bored and glum, she was clearly cheesed off, rolled her eyes behind heavy lids, but she strode over to their table on long slow limbs. All this time I was drawing, chatting quietly to one or two of the girls, but now I twisted my chair the merest touch, poised my sketchbook on my knee, and half-closing my eyes to deepen the gloom, allowed my pencil to wander about the page. As the dance developed, our eyes met once or twice, no humour, no irritation, just a deeply contained awareness of movement and atmosphere. For a time she became the day, the ancient mystery of the dancer and the dance.

The drawing was slow, grasping from this moment and from that, indicating tonal and colour notes of the darkness and the glow. I will post my sketch here, hoping to have some of the mystery, hoping that it might develop into a painting.


Good painting to you all, and glorious vision. Ryno.

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